Newsjacking can sound like a tricky tactic. However, if done right it can be a golden ticket, building a brand as a thought leader on relevant industry topics.

Generally, newsjacking is when you provide a quote or interview opportunity during a trending news cycle to secure media coverage. It also provides an opportunity to strengthen relationships with media contacts.

Although newsjacking is a speedy process, some prep is required to make sure quality content is offered to the media.

In this blog, I will share my top tips for successful newsjacking, how to forge relationships with media contacts and stay tuned in to the news agenda.

Know your topics

As part of your prep, identify who your spokespeople are. Prepare them for the need for quick responses when it comes down to getting a comment to a journalist. It’s a bonus if your spokesperson is media trained.

Once the key topics have been identified, this will make it easier to narrow down the types of stories you want to comment on. Read the relevant press every day and follow outlets on social media and be aware of the key journalists.

Stay tuned in

To achieve successful newsjacking, you need to be immersed in the news agenda. Social media channels like Twitter are ideal as it shows the trending news topics for the day. Regularly check Twitter throughout the day as the news agenda constantly changes and you’ll only have a short window to turn a comment around and get in there before someone else.  

 If you see a story that’s already been published online but you feel you could add more value to it, approach the journalist and get a comment lined up and ready to go.

Strengthen media relations

If you want to lay down some foundations with a journalist, it is worth introducing your business and the topics they could comment on. Slicing through the white noise can be challenging with journalists, so Twitter is often a good alternative to getting their attention. Open a dialogue with them and show that you’ve taken an interest in the pieces they write about. Interact with the articles they tweet, even if it’s a ‘like’ or a ‘retweet’ – it will get your name in front of them.

Provide meaningful content

When jumping on a news story, consider whether you’d be adding value, question whether it’s a tenuous link or offering a perspective that’s already been given. These are important considerations to make, especially when it comes to your reputation and relationship with the journalist.

You want to be known for providing a useful comment and avoid being seen as an echo chamber. If you’re successful and the journalist uses your content, you’re in a good position to approach them again in the future, or they may even come to you.

Move quickly

Slow and steady doesn’t win the race when it comes to newsjacking. Time is of the essence and ideally, you want to respond to a breaking news story within two hours. It takes no time at all for news to become old news, so it’s all about timing and acting quickly.

Recently, we worked on a story with the Daily Express about the housing shortage crisis with our client, Priestley Homes. We acted very quickly before another brand spotted the opportunity and jumped on it themselves. We provided a strong comment, which stood alone in the article. Multiple quotes are often used in such stories but on this occasion, no other comment was required.

Newsjacking should be paired with other PR activities to form a structured PR plan. Sending press releases to key journalists is another opportunity to raise awareness of your business.

Looking for media relations support for your business? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help elevate your business.